Flunky is the latest offering from Don Trapdoor Priestly, and it's undeniably the most ridiculous idea for a game I've ever come across.
You are a servant, sent off to light the fires in the royal rooms at Buck House. Unfortunately those rooms contain various Royals, all of whom set a task for you to perform. In return for completing each task, you get an autograph. Collect five big nobs' autographs, and you've finished the game. If you're interested...
Flunky is entertaining to begin with - no question. The same graphics techniques that made Trapdoor so wonderful are here again. The figures are nice and large, colour clash is virtually non-existent, and the sight of Randy Andy popping out of the bath-tub is - for the first time - highly amusing. Fergie's horribly realistically red-headed and Prince Charles' ears are large enough to hang-glide from.
But after a few trips through the Royal Apartments, collecting Andrew's boat, and Fergie's freckles, being shot by psychopathic guards every time you try to sneak into the Queen's rooms, it does lose its charm somewhat.
With Flunky, the solution to a problem is nearly always the wrong way.
In fact the tasks are often overly complicated, and it's usually rather more luck than judgement that you find the right solution.
Still, there are lots of things going on. And as I've said before, they're complicated. As you move through the rooms of the royal residence various royals will pop out and give you a task. ("Fetch my wig," or "Feed the corgis"). It's up to you to do the business, using anything you've seen on your travels.
If you've ever felt like performing utterly mindless tasks for mind-bogglingly boring people, then you're just going to love Flunky.
If, on the other hand, you find the idea of being a virtual slave to the Royal Family totally abhorrent then leave it well alone.
Author: Don Priestley
Reviewer: Tamara Howard
Latest from Don Priestley - he of the big sprites. Very similar ideas to Trapdoor, but with a poorer plot and play.
DON Priestly has been programming for years and years. He goes back to the ZX81 days. His Dictator is still the favourite of many strategy fans. Trap Door got a classic last year and he's currently working on the sequel, Trap Door II.SOFTOGRAPHY: Dictator (DK'Tronics, 1984), Jumbly (DK'Tronics, 1984), Minder (DK'Tronics, 1985), Popeye (DK'Tronics, 1985), Trap Door (Piranha, 1986)